Roads to Santiago Paperback – Mar 13 2000
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A worthy travel book does not encourage a reader to follow in the author's footsteps in search of the "good spots" so much as it creates a sense of adventure and the desire to understand a place. In Roads to Santiago: Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain, Dutch author Cees Nooteboom seeks out the soul and spirit of Spain in a way that suggests a journey of self-discovery as much as an actual expedition. Although the stated goal is to reach Santiago de Compostela--a church in northwest Spain that was once the object of pilgrimages during the Middle Ages--Nooteboom doesn't follow a single or direct route to the village. The more serendipitous the journey, the better. Nooteboom followed many "detours," taking nearly every back road he found and making sure to avoid anything resembling a major thoroughfare or urban center. The result of his circuitous travels is this collection of moving essays on Spain's history, geography, architecture, and people. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In this series of essays, Nooteboom (The Following Story, LJ 8/94), one of Holland's most popular and translated authors, ventures through what he calls his "adopted country," from Barcelona to Santiago. Detours are what Nooteboom delights in, and true to form he takes the reader through detours of monasteries; art galleries; La Mancha in search of Don Quixote and Dulcinea; the Prado museum in Madrid, where he waxes eloquently about Velazquez and Nooteboom's favorite, Zurburan; and churches and courtyards in cities and villages once protected by their geography and now isolated in the empty plains of the Meseta. The strength of Nooteboom's book is in his lyrical descriptions of Spain, a country he believes has never been quite a part of Europe. Some knowledge of European history is required to appreciate his work fully. Recommended for large public and academic libraries or where there is demand for literary travel books.?David Schau, Kanawha Cty. P.L., Charleston, W. Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Spain is his favourite country (like mine), he lives partly on
the Spanish island Menorca. This book of essays was published in
Dutch in 1992 and includes articles written between 1979 and 1991.
Nooteboom is a traveller who has a great interest in the history of
a country : i.e. in the of case Spain the historical relations between
christians, jews and moors. He also has a particalur interest
in medieval (roman) architecture. His 'route' is somewhat unsystematic :
he does not follow one road, but his travels are full of 'detours'
(time and again he is attracted by unwellknown placenames). Nooteboom
certainly doesn't limit himself to the typical must-sights'.
Sometimes Nooteboom seems to be travelling more in the past than in the present,
but his comments on the places he visits are always personal, original,(he avoids 'clichés')
proving a deep insight in the roots of Spanish culture. Therefore
"The roads to Santiago" is not an easy travel-guide but rather an
interesting book to take with you when touring through this country :
it's revelation to visit places and read Nooteboom's comments at the
the sheer profundity and wit of nooteboom's observations left me, for one, in like total dumbstruck awe, and his seemingly divine ability to translate the most visceral of emotions into words (a medium of communication i had always, up till now, considered inferior) made me feel a little bit the same way i felt the first time i went skydiving. folks, this here is a man who knows how to travel, as well as being a freakin miracle of a writer--and anyone who is capable of firing a sincere philosophic-type synapse will LOVE HIM. also read "the following story," all you existential types out there--he's like a dreamy, colorful Camus, and his prose will make your eyes feel clean for the first time in years.
Most recent customer reviews
Am still trying to finish this book! Compared to some of the others on the subject, it's a hard read. I'll probably sell it.Published on Aug. 24 2001 by Laura Rose
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